Bengaluru: While it is known that AICC president Rahul Gandhi — the sitting MP from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh — is unlikely to leave his bastion, the clamour for the leader to contest from a southern state has started growing louder. On March 16, Karnataka State Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao put out a tweet urging Gandhi to consider contesting from Karnataka.
On behalf of @INCKarnataka I urge @RahulGandhi to consider contesting from Karnataka for the forthcoming #LokSabhaElection2019.He should also be our representative from South India & for that he should choose my state.#RaGaFromKarnataka pic.twitter.com/Jk4ALMMLKK— Dinesh Gundu Rao / ದಿನೇಶ್ ಗುಂಡೂರಾವ್ (@dineshgrao) March 15, 2019
The idea was also endorsed by former CM Siddaramaiah, who sent across his message via Twitter, saying he “would want our next Prime Minister Rahul Gandhi to contest from Karnataka".
Karnataka has always supported & encouraged @INCIndia leaders. It has been proved in case of Smt. Indira ji & Smt. Sonia ji.We also want our next Prime Minister of India Shri. @RahulGandhi to contest from Karnataka & herald new developmental paradigm.#RaGaFromKarnataka— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) March 15, 2019
Not restricting it to mere Twitter buzz, on Monday, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress sent out a letter addressed to Gandhi requesting him to consider contesting from a seat in Karnataka.
Gandhi will be in Karnataka on Monday to kick-start the campaign for the party, where he will address a public rally in the north-east district of Kalaburgi and will later also interact with start-up entrepreneurs in IT City Bengaluru.
The state unit’s letter emphasises on the fact that Karnataka has stood by the party during troubled times and Gandhi's candidature from Karnataka would boost the rank and file of the Congress party in the state.
It also mentions the fact that Karnataka has in the past sent both his grandmother and mother to Parliament. For Indira Gandhi, the Chikmangalur seat was a political re-birth post the Emergency, whereas Sonia Gandhi's entry into electoral politics will always be remembered for the heated battle of Bellari in 1999.
Besides Karnataka, requests from other southern constituencies have also poured in. Karti Chidambaram, son of senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, has said that the district of Shivaganga, Trichy or Kanyakumari would be ideal for either of the Gandhi siblings to contest from. He said the Tamil Nadu state unit of the party would be greatly enthused to facilitate their run in these seats.